When Being Vulnerable Isn’t the Best Choice

Yellow house

There has been a great deal of discussion lately about being vulnerable and keeping it real. While most of the time I think this is a wonderful way to live, there are important times to not share everything.

It’s taken me awhile to figure this out. When Facebook first came onto the scene, I loved the opportunity to share my daily life with friends and family. As someone who has moved a great deal and has not lived in the same state with any of my immediate family in my adult life, these glimpses into the lives of those I love and being able to share pieces of my life became a huge gift and a delightful blessing.

But life has become increasingly more complicated.

We have been through some turbulent times resulting in a loss of relationships. Years later, there are still almost daily reminders of the friendships that have been lost. It’s painful.

Our children are growing older and entering a more difficult time in life. Difficult and sensitive.

The ministry we serve in has increased in size and with that increase is greater responsibility and demands on our time.

My sweet Daddy went home to be with Jesus and I miss him.

Fence

When the pressures of life are particularly difficult, I need space to be able to pray. What I don’t need is to be vulnerable with the masses and allow people who might not genuinely care about me to enter into these hurting places, bringing criticisms and  judgment.

As my children grow older, I am finding that I need to grow with them. While there are hundreds of moments in the day that I want to share with the world, there are times when I need to simply be quiet. There are parts of their stories that are not mine to tell.

This doesn’t mean that I am not keeping it real. It just doesn’t. While I am responsible for telling the truth, I am not responsible for the perceptions and assumptions people make based on pieces of the puzzle. I used to think that I had to share everything in order for people to know me. But this is not true at all. The only one who needs to know everything about my life already does.

Life is teaching me some difficult, but important lessons. I am learning who I should be vulnerable with and where I need to set my boundaries.

I share a lot, but I don’t share everything. And I won’t. Being genuine is extremely important to me, but keeping it real in the sense of sharing all the things is not.

Leaves

I haven’t mentioned it lately, but this is one of the things that my one word for the year- dignity- is teaching me. Dignity requires discretion, knowing when to speak and when to remain silent.

In addition to all of these lessons, I am learning that we can be a huge blessing to others when we don’t make assumptions based on what they do or don’t share. When we pursue truly knowing someone and not simply judging them based on their social media presence, we are blessed and we are a blessing.

November is a great time to focus on gratitude. Today I am grateful for the many friends who love me for me, not for who they assume or expect me to be, but faults and all, they just love me. Loving me like Jesus…

Dearest Jesus,

Thank you for knowing everything about me and still loving me. I am so grateful that with you, there is no managing of my social profile. May I be quick to pray and slow to post statuses. May I seek your approval and not the likes of a fickle following.

Your girl

 

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